IF there is one thing I can’t stand it’s cheating – especially in sport!
I was absolutely astonished when I saw four pairs of badminton players had been disqualified from the Olympics after being accused of deliberately trying to lose their matches, just so they’d get an easier tie in the next round. I just can’t get my head around something like that!
Whenever I played football, I played to win. It didn’t matter if it was a World Cup semi-final, a pre-season friendly or a kickabout in the park with my mates – it’s about honour and sportsmanship. That’s why I can’t stand footballers who dive or pretend they’re injured to get a fellow professional booked or sent off. It’s f***ing disgusting, if you ask me!
At Italia ’90, when we were playing Belgium, Enzo Scifo – who was a brilliant player – started rolling around, holding his leg after being tickled. I was convinced he was play-acting, so I started taking the piss out of him, hopping around on one leg with my tongue hanging out! When people cheat, it makes the referees’ jobs even more difficult – I feel for them! That’s why I always tried to have a laugh with them, even if they weren’t always up for it. I remember once, this ref gave a free kick and lifted his arm up in air to point. I was standing next to him, so I stuck my head in his armpit and had a good sniff. It didn’t smell, but I pretended it did. Another time, when I was playing for Rangers against Hibernian, the ref dropped his yellow card. Being a nice bloke, I picked it up and ran after him to hand it over.
But when he turned around, I couldn’t help myself – I held it up in the air as if I was booking him! All the other players and the thousands of fans thought it was funny as f***, but sadly f***ing booked me – the ungrateful bastard! Now our Gold medal-winning men’s team sprint cycling team are getting a bit of stick after one of them admitted falling off his bike on purpose, so they could start again. But to be fair, I think that’s a bit different because it’s just one of those things that goes on, so I hope they don’t get in trouble. People used to accuse me of cheating all the time – they thought I was on drugs – but then after a while they realised that I really was that f***ing good!
Andy won’t leave!
ANDY Carroll is a young footballer from Gateshead who’s had a bit of stick for liking a shandy or two. Sound familiar? I find it quite easy to relate to Andy, obviously! And even though Liverpool have accepted a deal which would take him to West Ham on loan, I don’t think he’ll go because he’ll want to prove himself and show he’s worth the money they paid for him. Things haven’t exactly gone to plan at Anfield, but towards the end of last season and during the World Cup, he looked in great shape and had started playing really well. I hope he’s given the chance to prove himself at Liverpool because I think he can be a star – as long as he gets rid of that ponytail! It’s worse than Chris Waddle’s mullet!
SINCE I bought myself a Hollywood smile the TV offers have been pouring in! You might’ve seen me pissing myself laughing on The Angelos Epithemiou Show on Channel 4 last week. We had a 15-minute chat, but I couldn’t speak for ten of them because I was in hysterics. I don’t know what it was, but every time I looked at Angelos in his daft anorak, thick-rimmed specs and skew-whiff tie, I just couldn’t control the laughter. But I must’ve done something right because Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer asked me to go on their new show and I filmed that the other night too!
When I was a young footballer, before the novelty of being on telly had worn off, I used to get myself in trouble nearly every time I was on the box. At Italia ’90 the organisers thought it’d be a good idea to get every player to mouth his own name, so they could play the footage when announcing the line-ups. Being a bit of an idiot, I thought it’d be funny to mouth f***ing wanker instead of my name. And the BBC had to use it all the way through! I got quite a bit of stick for that, but looking back, I still think it was funny as f***! Another time, when I was at Lazio, this Norwegian TV reporter asked me on camera if I had a message for Norway, who England were due to play that week. Quick as a flash, I said, “Yes. F*** off Norway,” before running off laughing. That didn’t go down well. And if I wasn’t causing trouble with my mouth, I was doing it with my arse! I got a pack of reporters in Rome to be quiet, so they thought I was going to say something dead important – and then did the loudest fart ever!
But if there was one TV show I should’ve been on recently, it was Jon Richardson: A Little Bit OCD. To some people, OCD might seem funny because it makes you do strange things, but it can be a horrible condition to live with. When I was eight-years-old, my mate got knocked over and killed, and it seemed to set off my OCD. My mam and dad noticed me doing strange things, and they took me to see a psychiatrist. But he wanted me to mess about playing with sand, so I thought, “F*** that,” and tried to help myself. People have all different quirks due to OCD. I have to put my right shoe further forward than my left shoe and all my sauce bottles are placed low to high. I’ve had loads of treatment for OCD and they say I’m 80 per cent cured. Anyway, I better be off now – I need to wash my hands for the 100th time this morning!
APPARENTLY kids all over Britain are addicted to fruit machines like I was years ago! When I was 17 and playing for Newcastle United’s youth team, I used to spend every last penny of my wages on fruit machines, so I was always f***ing skint! I never had any money left for the bus, so I had to walk everywhere. Maybe that’s why I was so fit and could run circles around everyone else!
WHAT’S all this bollocks about Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo being the best film of all time? I don’t care what the critics say, you can’t beat a bit of Naked Gun! It’s f***ing hilarious!
TEAM GB are finally picking up a few medals and I hope they keep up the good work! The Olympics have been great so far and I’ve loved watching every single sport. Bradley Wiggins is absolutely sensational, but I reckon he might be like Samson – if he shaved off his sideburns he’d lose his amazing superpowers and look more like David Cameron cycling to work.
I WISH I’d have known loads of Jimmy Savile’s stuff was being auctioned off this week! If I’d known, I’d have bid for one of his trademark cigars to make me look like Kojak! Jimmy Savile never fixed it for me, probably because I never wrote to him. But Jimmy Five Bellies fixed it for me to get pissed quite a few times though!
A LOT has been made of Goodison Park’s age and condition. How does it compare to other stadiums you’ve played in around the world?
Andrew Roberts, Southport, Merseyside
GOODISON Park is a special place. It’s an old ground, but everywhere you look, you’re reminded of the club’s fantastic history. The crowd is immense and the atmosphere is always electric. You can have decent banter with the fans as well. When I was at Everton and warming up I used to eat the toffees the lady had thrown into the crowd. I f***ing loved them, but they’re why I’ve had to have my teeth done!
WHO was your biggest idol when you were growing up?
Beano @andrewbeano, Hartlepool, Co. Durham
FOOTBALL-wise, Bryan Robson was my hero – he was even better than Maradonna, in my eyes. I really admired Johan Cruyff as well because I loved his skill and tricks – I’ve left plenty of players for dead with a Cruyff turn in my time. I think I’m better at it than him!
GAZZA, did the PFA look after you when you retired from football?
Nathan-Sargie @nat9426, Blackburn, Lancs
TO put it bluntly – yes! The PFA couldn’t have done more for me. Gordon Taylor, who’s the chief executive, is one of the best men in the whole world. After I’d retired and was having a bad time with the drink, the PFA paid £90,000 for me to go into rehab.
HOW hard was it to leave Newcastle united? Did you have any regrets? Would you like to play in today’s team?
Stephen Gray @chutgray
IT was really hard because Newcastle gave me my chance in football and I absolutely loved it every time I played. The fans were unbelievable. I don’t have any regrets because I’ve had a fantastic career and I’d love to play in today’s team – with me providing Cisse and Ba would score even more!